Scientists React To Patient Being Reinfected With COVID-19
Over the past week, multiple reports have surfaced of a Hong Konger becoming reinfected with COVID-19 (Coronavirus, 2019) after previously recovering from the virus. The news began circulating through a press release, with the full study available in the Clinical Infectious Diseases medical journal.
“What we are learning about infection is that people do develop an immune response and what is not completely clear yet is how strong that immune response is and for how long that immune response lasts,” said World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Lead on COVID-19 response, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove during a press briefing following the breaking news.
The case comes after recent reports suggest immunity from reinfection may last up to three months in individual patients after they recover from the virus.
Despite the news, the medical community isn’t alarmed over the reinfection. “The second infection was completely asymptomatic — his immune [the reinfected patient] response prevented the disease from getting worse,” Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University, told New York Times after reviewing the report. ” “It’s kind of a textbook example of how immunity should work,” he added.
While his asymptomatic response is a good sign, he could still spread the virus if social distancing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines aren’t adhered to.
“In order to provide herd immunity, a potent vaccine is needed to induce immunity that prevents both reinfection and disease,” Dr. Iwasaki continued.
A recent case in Nevada shows a resident is suffering through his second bout with COVID-19, albeit with worse symptoms than his first — a differing case from the Hong Konger.
The Reno resident first tested positive for COVID-19 in April. His symptoms ranged from a sore throat, headache, cough, nausea, and diarrhea.
However, his new symptoms included the same and pneumonia, leading to him becoming so sick that he became hospitalized — he avoided having to be admitted during his first case.
Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health told Statnews that the real focus should be on, “What happens to most people,” when evaluating reinfection.
With the news of confirmed COVID-19 reinfections, positive news comes out of the vaccine development front as over 170 nations have come together to work on the development and distribution of future COVID-19 vaccines.
Currently, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is working with the WHO, Gavi, and the Vaccine Alliance apart of the COVAX global initiative. The goal of the cooperative is to work with vaccine manufacturers to prove countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines once they are approved.
“Equal access to a COVID-19 vaccine is the key to beating the virus and paving the way for recovery from the pandemic,” said Stefan Loven, Prime Minister of Sweden within a WHO press memo. “This cannot be a race with a few winners, and the COVAX Facility is an important part of the solution – making sure all countries can benefit from access to the world’s largest portfolio of candidates and fair and equitable distribution of vaccine doses,” he continued.
Nine candidate vaccines are currently being supported by CEPI, seven of which are now in clinical trials. A further nine candidate vaccines are under evaluation for inclusion in the COVAX initiative. The goal is to develop three safe and effective vaccines that can be made available to the 172 countries participating in COVAX.
Despite the concern, most nations are far below the infection numbers during the height of the pandemic. However, within the United States, many citizens continue to argue over the necessity of wearing PPE and practicing social distancing.
Speaking on deep background, an individual with knowledge of such stated local police departments within Greenville, North Carolina, has been called to respond to multiple parties in the city due to individuals refusing to wear masks.
Gatherings of over 10 people in a single indoor space and 25 in outdoor spaces remain prohibited in North Carolina under the Safer At Home Phase 2 guidelines. Executive Order No. 155 signed by Governor Roy Cooper on August 5, 2020, extended the restrictions until September 11, 2020.
Reports of individuals ignoring restrictions across the United States continue to be commonplace as the virus remains problematic for the country.
With Congress delaying a second stimulus package, middle and working-class citizens will continue to suffer economically until COVID-19 cases see a drastic decrease.